How to Unpack Your Suitcase When You have ADHD‎‎

Does this sound familiar? You come home from a great trip, drop your bags down and then go and relax on the sofa. Or maybe you pet your cat, or take a shower or have a snack. You might do a variety of things, but I bet you don’t unpack your suitcase!

Your suitcan sit innocently for days, or weeks, exactly where you put it when you first got home.

Over the next few days and weeks, when you need something from your case, you lift the lid and take that one item out. Your toiletries on one day, your favorite jeans the next day. Until finally, the belongings that are left aren’t things you use regularly. Which means your suitcase stays untouched for weeks.

Having a half-unpacked suitcase isn’t the end of the world. However, it doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. Here is a quick checklist to help you unpack in record-breaking time.

  1. Get your kitchen timer and set it for 5 minutes. Every time the timer goes off, set it for another 5 minutes. This keeps you moving fast! It’s a race against the clock.

  2. Make your bed (bonus points if its already made)‎.

  3. Put the contents of your suitcase on the bed so it’s easier to find things.

  4. Take your dirty laundry and put it straight into your washing hamper. Don’t wash anything yet.

  5. Take all your shoes and put them where you usually keep your shoes.

  6. Take your toiletries out and put them in the bathroom.

  7. Find all your clean underwear and put them in your underwear drawer.

  8. Find all your tops and put them away.

  9. Find all your bottoms and put them in their place.

  10. Then you will have a mixture of random items that are seemingly harder to put away. But continue, don’t stop now; you are nearly there! For each one, put it away in its usual place

  11. Now grab your suitcase and put that away too.

  12. Great job! Now you can relax.

Were any of these steps tricky? If they were, then it’s sign your home needs some organizing. For example, if it was hard to put your tops away, it might be that your drawers or wardrobes are full and there is no room for them. Don’t panic! Go here to learn how to declutter.

If your washing hamper is already overflowing, use this as a sign to develop a laundry routine.

Try unpacking your suitcase like this and let me know how it goes!! I bet you can unpack everything in 15 minutes or less.





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  1. Anthony says:

    LOL I thought I was the only one.

  2. R says:

    Haha – you’ve been in my house! Hey, that stuff I took to New York in May may come in handy in Japan in October…

    I’m really good about getting the dirty clothes out and washed right away though.

  3. Sheila says:

    I have tried this a few times, and find it very useful – kind of competing with myself to see if I can get it done, and how quickly. I have got much, much better at emptying the suitcase right away and putting away the contents rather than leaving things lurk for up to a week (at least).

  4. I laughed so hard in response to just the title of this post. I’m actually a great packer, probaly because I love to travel and I like having very few belongings with me (hmm, maybe I should just get rid of as much as possible). But, even after reading this, here I sit. Well, I have a cup of hot tea; I can’t let it get cold now can I? Great suggestion! I’ll try it…later.

  5. Hi all; I gave up
    On rolling suitcases because I live on an island and the ferries without elevators means hefting them, not to mention the wait times at airports. I got a Tom Bihn Aeronaut 30 as I am small and with compression bags was able to
    maintain my elegant clothes for occasions along with my grubbies when photographing. I can pack in enough for three weeks easily by rolling everything up. I take additional cameras in my Tom Bihn co pilot. The Aeronaut is made in the USA and one can use it as a messenger bag or backpack. It goes into the overhead easily. It has two compartments for good shoes and a passport holder. It is very easy to organize, a plus for us adhd ers!

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